The Death of the Plan


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But it’s the plan! We can’t change the plan.

People go to great lengths to tell me how well researched, defined and documented their plan is or was. They tell me in great detail about the logic behind it, the market validation and testing they did with their top customers.

So why did the business stumble or fail?

It’s never because of the plan. At least not in our own minds. You see, the plan is the plan. And often we follow it as if it were some kind of demi-god. Sometimes we trust that plan for far too long – until we crash and burn. We post that plan for all to see, monitor our progress, celebrate meeting milestones and deliverables. Meeting the deliverables of the plan becomes our definition of success.

Yet how often do we question the plan itself, once it’s in place?

Sometimes. But how often do we get so focused on executing the plan that we don’t see ourselves failing because of that plan?

In the 21st Century – plans are short lived. That’s because everything changes so quickly.

Market leaders know that even the best plans must adapt in real time. What we decided to do six months ago as part of our overall product development, marketing and launch plan may not work today. It certainly wont work a year from now. So what’s with that 3-year plan?

We move into the market with our plan and begin receiving feedback from our audiences, the keepers of our truth. Their inputs often call for a change in the plan, perhaps even a change in our course. Yet how often do we continue focusing on that plan, executing flawlessly, seeing ourselves becoming successful because of that plan? Even as our buyers shift to another course – and supplier. And we wonder why we weren’t successful in the market.

I’m not saying we should throw away our plans and run aimlessly in any direction. That would be kind of silly, now wouldn’t it? We need plans.

It’s time we realized that meeting the plan is not the be all and end all. Business success is our goal. Not meeting the deliverables of our plan

Plans are guidance for our flight at a point in time. When our environment shifts – so must our plan. If we want to be successful.

Here’s a question for you:

Do you define success as executing on your plan, or as shifting to capture your market and your buyers’ dollars – wherever that focus may lead?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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